CFA — Live and In Person

Sid Chelsky

The Canadian Fabricare Association’s 2021 Conference, held November 20-21 at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel in Toronto, featured several speakers, table-top displays by suppliers, and plenty of time to interact with others in a way that’s not been possible for over 18 months. The conference was a sell-out, and the broad range of topics covered was appreciated by the participants.

“I would like to thank all our speakers for giving up their time and participating in our conference. They did so at their own expense,” said Executive Director Sid Chelsky.

If you were unable to attend, here’s just a taste of what you missed. It is hoped that by realizing how much information was conveyed, you will make preparations for the next CFA conference. You won’t go away sorry you attended.

Karen Maxwell

Karen Maxwell of GreenEarth focused on both employee relations and customer satisfaction. She discussed the following areas:

  • The need for new employees and how to attract candidates
  • Use of social media
  • The benefit of cross training employees
  • How to use of data information
  • Importance of satisfying customers
  • Customer Appreciation Day
  • Move to pick up and delivery and using vans as advertising media
  • How to use digital marketing to increase sales
  • Empowering your Customer Service Representatives (CSRs)
  • Dealing with customer complaints
  • Discussion with audience to answer questions
  • How to work App
  • Flexibility for lifestyle
Dave Troemel

Dave Troemel is with BeCreative 360. His marketing company is well known, and counts among its clients many cleaners, as well as the DLI. He discussed:

  • Your online reputation
  • How BeCreative 360 focuses on your marketing, so you can focus on your business
  • All the different methods of marketing
  • Reputation management
  • Understanding how you can achieve top-listing on social media
  • Showed how you can check your status on social media
  • The idea of offering a $20 bonus for every review that mentions a CSR by name online
  • How and why to consider refunding money for a negative review
  • How to send out email and text messages which cannot be blocked
Jacquelyn Stevens

Jacquelyn Stevens of Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers is well known for her knowledge and expertise in environmental law and is the go-to person and firm when environmental issues arise. She highlighted:

  • Responsibility of those in control of a dry cleaning business
  • Regulatory liability, both Provincial and Federal
  • Every type of solvent, including wet cleaning, must meet regulations
  • Every person in a cleaning plant is responsible if they cause pollution
  • Discussed court cases and results
  • Talked about civil liability
  • Create a system for control of plant environmental protection and disposal of wastes
  • Took may questions
Dave Coyle

Dave Coyle of Maverick Cleaners is respected throughout the United States and Canada as an expert on growing sales. He has written many articles for the DLI on the topic. He discussed:

  • Offering value to improve your company
  • Systematizing your business
  • Preparing a profit and loss statement minus personal stuff
  • The difference between an operator and an owner
  • How the system should run your business—the business should serve you
  • Marketing to the top 20 of the financial market
  • How to acquire new customers
  • How to increase volume from existing customers
  • Incentives to new customers
  • Customers want to feel appreciated, important and included
Kyle Loder

Kyle Loder is from Fleet Complete. With many cleaners now offering route pickup and delivery, his company is a leader in keeping delivery costs down. He explained:

  • Innovative solutions to reduce your costs
  • Minimizing risk and liability
  • Reducing vehicle costs
  • Fleet tracker
  • Reducing paperwork
  • Monitoring vehicles and drivers to ensure save driving and operation of the vehicle
  • Increasing productivity through route optimization
Jeremy Straley

Jeremy Straley’s company, SMRT Systems Inc., is a provider of point-of-sale systems to help cleaners manage their business. His talk included:

  • Self-management in real time
  • How to take away human error
  • Ease of training new CSR employees using SMRT
  • Taking photos of incoming garment to prevent claims for damaged garments
  • Tracking garments
  • Optimizing route delivery
Tim Maxwell

Tim Maxwell is from GreenEarth Technologies. The company provides its own cleaning systems, and has developed new technology to eliminate micro plastics from wastewater. He spoke about:

  • Sustainability
  • Solvents not allowed to go down the drain
  • Solid waste not mixed with solvent can be disposed of in regular garbage
  • Showed how to reduce utility costs
  • Talked about the “plastic soup” of microplastics in clothes
  • How GreenEarth working with the apparel industry to reduce microplastics
  • Described the new technology SeaClear*, which is said to reduce up to 85% of microplastics going into the water system
  • Answered questions

Sunday morning was given over to workshops, with good attendance and good discussion all around.

Now that associations are beginning to be able to meet in person, check with your local association to see when it might be gathering. Make plans to attend. If you don’t belong to an association, review our list of Canadian associations and pick one that will meet your needs. Then sign up, get involved, and grow your business with greater knowledge and involvement in the industry.

Industry friends, happy to be together again!

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